The proposed merger between Continental Airlines and United Airlines is expected to prompt other airlines servicing the New York area to step up their efforts to woo business travelers. Airlines such as Delta, United and American could start offering more seat upgrades, free airport-lounge passes and other perks to lucrative business passengers. "The airlines are going to have to shower these passengers with free lounge access or upgrades if they want their loyalty," said Chris McGinnis, a consultant and travel-blog editor.

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